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How to drive innovation

A new guide on how to drive innovation in business was released by SAP UK Limited this week. It’s the first in a series of so-called “Think Bigger Guides?, SAP’s answer to their recent report on the growth climate for SMEs, “Thinking Bigger?.

These guides combine advice for business leaders, insight from fellow entrepreneurs, as well as the latest bits of research from SAP about the thoughts and aspirations of the UK’s small and mid-sized businesses.

The guides are an attempt to address the core areas of business growth, as part of an ongoing initiative to support and inspire the UK mid-market. The tips are no magical formula to make your business fly up the growth ladder, but they might help you to create a mantra that, if you live according to it, will help you realise your full innovation potential. 

We summarised them for you:

1. Help your staff to work smarter

Employees can perform core tasks and operations on the move, thanks to mobile technology. At its most basic level, this includes simple operations like responding to email, making voice calls, etc. But it can be easily ramped up to include activities like video calls, accounting and finance procedures, workflow and business process management. There are ways to harness mobile technology as much as possible, if only you know how.

2. Improve customer experience

Today, customers expect to be able to have access to you and your services anytime, anywhere. Always check whether your website has a mobile transaction function and that it’s compatible with different operating systems. If you don’t get customer interaction right, your competitors will out-innovate you, making it easy for consumers to pick them over you.

3. Make your data work harder

Overwhelmed with data The trick is not to try and stop the volume of data or information which you collect as an organisation, but to harness it and use it to your advantage. In a tough economy, everyone needs to find their edge or exploit a gap, making your data work harder is one innovative way of doing that.

4. Invest in cost-effective new tech 

The latest research is showing that cloud computing has finally reached mainstream adoption. We are now well past the early adopter” stage. It’s essential that businesses consider what or what else they could move into the cloud to deliver further economies of scale.

5. Continuous improvement

Innovation can’t just be picked up and dropped. In order to be truly innovative and take advantage of opportunities quickly, you must continually look at how you can improve your organisation and the way you run your operations. Learn from those around you (including your competition), adopt best practice from others and adapt it to suit your individual business, so you won’t be left behind.

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